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Unions say no-no to Ness

So Don Ness had a bit of a kerfluffle last week and I, for one, am glad it happened, mainly because I haven't used kerfluffle in a column since 2012. (Alert readers will remember it was part of my infamous "Is-Darren-Danielson-sporting-an-old-Denny-Anderson-toupee-discovered-in-a-greasy-KFC-bucket-behind-the-WDIO-weather-set?" expose.) But I also welcome the opportunity to show the world just what kind of a leader we have in this town.

You may have heard that some brave union officials decided to ban Duluth's mayor from their VIB (Very Important Building) after he brazenly marched across a picket line at the Radisson to have lunch, with little regard for the solid union support represented by a single, solitary picket guy. OK, the guy was alone, but so what? He STILL stood in for the THOUSANDS of other union people who WOULD have been there if they hadn't had something more important to do that day!

And the mayor's excuse that it was just an "informational" picket and not a "real" picket is absurd. Tell that to the entire unionized staff at the Radisson restaurant. I bet that every one of those dues-paying, card-carrying union members were seething at the mayor as they crossed that same picket line on their way to work the next morning. But they had a good reason to cross it! They had to get to their union jobs!

This behavior seems to be a pattern with Don Ness; he just wades right into these controversies thinking only of himself. Remember how he forced city retirees to actually pay for part of their own health care and now Duluth isn't facing financial ruin? How selfish! The publicity generated from Proctor buying Duluth and turning it into a giant karaoke bar would have been totally worth it!

And transforming that garbage heap called The Last Place on Earth into a safe, vibrant section of Superior Street was fine, but what about those poor union members who no longer have easy access to their urine cleaner? This mayor just doesn't care.

To you union leaders, I say, "Bravo!" It's about time someone stood up to Don Ness' tyranny! Don't welcome him into your building ... uh, wherever it is ... ever again! Maybe this message you've sent will finally get through that compassionate and hard-working soul of his.

I know that the citizens of Duluth have heard it loud and clear.

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater, and visit their website at He also invites you to the Chicken Hat Plays on Nov. 7 at Harbor City. It’s eight original one-act plays that will feature Don Ness as a Common Cameo in every one of them … unless he gets banned.

Brian Matuszak

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater and visit their website at